In a meeting on Wednesday, April 13, the Reno City Council decided to go forward with ordinances on local strip clubs.
With concerns of the activities inside strip clubs, the city council has made moves to prohibit digital signs outside strip clubs, prohibit the sale of alcohol in incorrectly zoned clubs and move strip clubs out of downtown within five years. Although there was some debate in Wednesday’s meeting among councilmembers, it is agreed upon that changes must be made.
Wednesday was not the first time the strip club debate was a topic of discussion at a city council meeting. In September 2017, the council voted to move strip clubs out of downtown Reno unless the clubs removed their digital signs and stopped serving alcohol.
This time, however, the council added conditions stating that performances should stay on stage. This would ban lap dances and private rooms from the club’s offerings.
The council also discussed the age of the strip clubs’ dancers.
“Another major issue to me is the fact that we have performers that are under 21, working in establishments that are serving alcohol,” Councilman Paul Mckenzie said during Wednesday’s meeting.
According to Wild Orchid owner Kamy Keshmiri, there is an ulterior motive in trying to move strip clubs into industrial areas rather than just “cleaning up downtown”.
“Somebody is pulling political strings; somebody wants our land,” Keshmiri said. “We have been getting a barrage of very low offers on our property. Somebody is trying to steal it from us.”
Mayor Hillary Schieve opposed the idea of moving these strip clubs to industrial issues. According to Scheive, this would remove the problem from the public, making the issue “out of sight, out of mind”.
Whether or not the motive for moving strip clubs is to gain the land that these clubs currently sit on, Keshmiri is willing to work with the city to control various secondary effects that these types of establishments bring. These include drug use and human trafficking in the area.
“Get that to where both sides are happy and therefore secondary effects [are] out the window,” Keshmiri said. “Therefore we shouldn’t need to move you.”
While the meeting gave the council a chance to change their mind on their course of action, the outcome decided that they will move forward to crack down on the activities within strip clubs.
Olivia Ali can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.